Nevado del RuĂz, Crater de la Olleta, Nevado de Santa Isabel, Laguna Verde and Valle del Silencio are just a few of the reasons to visit Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados.
The trip to Los Nevados, which means â€śSnow-capped Mountains,â€ť starts in Manizales and covers almost 59,000 hectares (145, 792 ac) of territory. In the midst of the Colombian central mountain chain, snow and sand live side by side, and small spouts of water surge to supply nearby towns. You can pass through desert landscapes with bright red rocks at Ruiz, photograph wild flowers and evergreens at Santa Isabel, or admire the glittering snow of Laguna Verde.
Lodging is available at El Cisne Visitors Center ($45-90), or you can camp at one of the parkâ€™s two designated camping areas. Tours of the park require a guide, which will cost about $30 a day. If you plan on walking up Nevado del RuĂz, be sure to drink a lot of water the day beforeâ€”even so, you still may experience altitude sickness once you reach the top. Choose a clear, sunny day to visit, and bring cold-weather gear as it can get quite chilly at this elevation.
Reservation information for Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados can be found at www.concesionesparquesnaturales.com.
The park is located about 45 minutes from Manizales. Buses to the park lodge and entrance leave from the terminal every hour, but guides are required upon entrance to the park. The altitude increases quickly, so on the way up, keep the windows open.
Drink lots of water the day before your trip to the park
Typical cost upon entry including a guide is $20.
Relative price: Mid-Range
Travel Skills: None
You Need to Bring:
Be sure to pack cold weather gear as the temperatures tend to drop at this elevation.
Credit cards accepted
Colombian Peso, US dollar